Modified Judgment of Divorce in Michigan

By Heather Frances J.D.

When Michigan courts make decisions in a divorce case, they base those decisions on the facts known at the time of the divorce hearings. However, circumstances may change after the court issues its divorce decree, making the decree outdated, so Michigan law allows courts to modify certain aspects of a divorce decree, including child support, spousal support, child custody and parenting time.

Property Division

Michigan courts cannot modify property division provisions of a divorce decree, except under very limited conditions. Typically, property division cannot be changed without some showing of misconduct, such as evidence that one spouse concealed assets from the other, misrepresented the status of assets or otherwise acted fraudulently. Divorce decrees based on an agreement between the spouses can be modified if one spouse can show she was pressured to sign the agreement rather than signing of her own free will.

Child Support and Custody

Courts may modify child support or custody arrangements whenever it is in the best interests of the child to do so. However, the parent wishing to modify child support or custody provisions must present evidence of a substantial change in circumstances warranting the change. This must be more than normal life changes. For example, a court could consider it a substantial change when one parent loses his job, receives a large raise or has additional children.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Spousal Support

In Michigan, spousal support awarded in a divorce is modifiable. However, if spouses agreed to non-modifiable support, it cannot be changed after the agreement. If a couple’s spousal support arrangement is modifiable, the spouse asking for a modification must be able to prove there has been a significant material change in circumstances. For example, a spouse’s remarriage, job loss or serious injury could cause an income change significant enough to prompt a court to modify a previous spousal support award.

Obtaining a Modification

Spouses can agree to modify portions of their divorce decree and sign a new agreement incorporating the changed terms. However, if one spouse refuses to agree to the other spouse’s proposed modifications, the spouse seeking modification must ask the court to order the change. Spouses can begin this process by filing a motion with the court, typically the court that issued the most recent order, asking for a hearing on the modification. The court will schedule a hearing if the motion raises enough facts to show the court a substantial change has occurred, and the spouse seeking modification must prove these facts at the hearing.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Changing Divorce Decrees in Minnesota


Related articles

North Carolina Modification of Child Support Laws

When North Carolina courts enter divorce decrees, they address topics such as child custody, child support and property division. Courts can sometimes modify the terms of a divorce when circumstances change after the divorce is finalized. Typically, courts can modify court-ordered child support when one parent can show that circumstances have changed.

How to Renegotiate a Divorce in Iowa

Getting divorced can be a major first step toward a new life. As couples move on, conditions may have changed considerably since the marriage dissolved. In Iowa, judges have the power to modify parts of a divorce decree, including alimony, child support and custody, when unanticipated changes have occurred. Understanding which factors the court can consider, as well as what aspects of the divorce decree are generally not capable of modification, will help you if you seek to renegotiate your divorce in Iowa.

Difference Between a Final Divorce Decree & a Settlement Agreement

When getting a divorce, spouses deal with the emotions involved with feelings that may range from sadness, anger and disillusionment to resignation and acceptance. They deal with the day-to-day needs of any children involved as well as the physical movement of property from one location to another. The court will require the spouses to convert those feelings, emotions and decisions to black and white in the form of a settlement agreement or the court will decide the terms of their divorce by decree after hearing the issues.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

Divorce & Changes in Circumstance in Massachusetts

Ideally, if a significant change occurs in your life, it will happen while you are in mid-divorce, so your eventual ...

After a Divorce Is Final, Can Your Ex-Spouse Take You Back to Court?

If there is a substantial change in circumstances after a final divorce decree is issued, it is possible for your ...

What Voids Alimony Payments in Nevada?

The state of Nevada recognizes two forms of alimony: lump sum and permanent. Lump sum alimony is a specific amount of ...

What Is an Agreed Entry in a Divorce?

When spouses agree to part ways and concur on all aspects of how they’re going to divorce, there’s no need for a court ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED